Indian equity benchmarks on Thursday plunged sharply amid weak global cues. Asian stocks fell as the U.S. April inflation data, which stood at persistently high in April, dented investor confidence.
Overnight, U.S. markets whipsawed after the inflation data was released, then closed sharply lower.
The U.S. consumer price index rose 8.3 per cent from a year ago, slower than March’s peak of 8.5 per cent, but still near the highest level in over 40 years.
Back home, investors also awaited April’s retail inflation data, scheduled to be released at 5:30 pm today.
Trends on the Nifty Futures on Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) indicated a gap-down start for the domestic indices.
The 30-share BSE Sensex dived 1,024 points or 1.89 per cent to 53,064 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 308 points or 1.91 per cent down to trade at 15,859.
Mid- and small-cap shares were negative as Nifty Midcap 100 fell 2.27 per cent and small-cap slipped 1.91 per cent.
All of the 15 sector gauges — compiled by the National Stock Exchange — were trading in the red. Nifty Private Bank, Nifty Consumer Durables and Nifty IT were underperforming the index by falling as much as 2.30 per cent, 2.23 per cent and 2.56 per cent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, Bajaj Finance was the top loser as the stock cracked 3.25 per cent to Rs 5,618.50. Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank, SBI Life and Tata Motors were also among the losers.
The overall market breadth stood weak as 459 shares were advancing while 2,359 were declining on BSE.
All Sensex constituents were trading with hefty losses. On the 30-share BSE index, Bajaj Finance, M&M, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finserv, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, SBI, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy’s, L&T and Hindustan Unilever were among the top laggards.
Sensex had slipped 276 points or 0.51 per cent to close at 54,088 on Wednesday, while Nifty had moved 73 points or 0.45 per cent down to settle at 16,167.